Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Franchises: Godzilla. Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II (Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla) (1993)

GVMGII.jpgBecause it didn't get an American home video release until after Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla and Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, and also because we didn't have or even care about pay-per-view at the time, which is where this film was first officially seen over here, this was the Heisei Godzilla movie I saw last. I'm not entirely sure what year it was when I finally bought it and saw it (It was either 1999 or 2000) but I do know that it was right before Christmas and that I saw it either on Christmas Eve or the day before. Thanks to the Godzilla Compendium, I did know of it, which is why it kind of bugged me when, for a while, there was a hole in my collection in-between Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth and Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla. It also bugged me because the film seemed pretty damn cool from both the plot synopsis, especially in the idea that Mechagodzilla does manage to temporarily kill Godzilla near the end of the film, and the photos of it. I liked the two films that came after it but, being a completest, I really wanted to fill that hole in the Heisei cycle. Unfortunately, that didn't come to pass until whichever Christmas that was and I think that, ultimately, kind of hurt my first viewing of it. While I certainly liked the movie when I saw it, it was kind of anti-climactic in a way since I had already seen the final two Heisei films that spawn off from it and already new what happened next (I knew what happened even before I actually saw the movies thanks to the compendium but what I mean is that I had experienced it personally). I knew what was going to happen to Baby Godzilla and what the film's ending where he goes off with Godzilla himself was going to lead to, so watching this movie served no other purpose than filling in the gaps. And since I had already experienced Godzilla's actual death in Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, his temporary death here didn't have much impact. (Also, I'd like to note that the fact that I first saw it so late is why I'm not going to tag this one with Stuff I Grew Up With because I was 12 or 13 by that point and, therefore, my childhood was coming to an end.) Now, after all that, you might be thinking that I don't care for this one at all but, actually, you'd be very wrong. Once I got past the anti-climactic experience of finally seeing this film, and the fact that this was the only Godzilla my step-cousin and I never completely watched together (that's a whole other issue I won't go into), I quickly realized through repeated viewings that this is potentially the best Godzilla film of the 90's. Godzilla vs. Destoroyah is pretty good too but this one is the definition of badass. It has all the right ingredients: a fast-pace, a fairly simple plot, lots of action, impressive special effects, exciting monster battles, a nice emotional core, and some truly great characters. There are some nitpicks that I have with it but, overall, I don't think you could ask for a better modern Godzilla movie than this. It's nothing less than one of the franchise's brightest gems.

In 1992, with Godzilla still a serious threat to mankind, the United Nations forms the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center as a means to end his reign of terror. After forming the combat team G-Force, the UNGCC salvages the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, the cyborg from the 23rd century, in order to use its future technology to build the ultimate anti-Godzilla fighting machine: Mechagodzilla. Two years later, with the robot now fully functional and ready to fight Godzilla whenever he appears next, G-Force recruits designer Kazuma Aoki, who worked on the creation of a preliminary combat aircraft, Garuda, that was passed over for Mechagodzilla, to act as a member of the robot's flight crew. With his lack of military experience and nerdish hobbies putting him at odds with his superior officer, and the training proving to be very grueling, Aoki is in way over his head. Meanwhile, a scientific expedition to Adona Island in the Bering Sea discovers the skeletal remains of a Pteranodon and two eggs, one of which has not yet hatched. Attempting to take the egg back with them to Japan, the expedition is attacked by Rodan, an adult Pteranodon who was mutated by the radioactive waste at a nearby dumping ground. To complicate things further, Godzilla arrives on the island and a vicious battle breaks out between him and Rodan. During the fight, which Godzilla ultimately wins, the team manages to escape with the egg. When it's taken to a science institute in Kyoto, Aoki, who is a Pteranodon enthusiast, can't help but sneak in to get a peek at the egg. While he doesn't get to stay long, he manages to take some samples of an odd plant that was coating the bottom half of the egg. Feeling a type of energy coming from it, Miki Saegusa takes it to the psychic center she used to work at in order to allow the psychic children there to see if they can channel it. They manage to solidify the energy as some type of music and record it on tape. When they play the music for Prof. Omae, the leader of the expedition, the energy from the music allows the egg to hatch but, instead of a baby Pteranodon, out pops a baby Godzillasaur, leading the scientists to believe that its egg was placed near the Pteranodon egg that Rodan hatched out of in the same way that some birds lay their eggs in other birds' nests. Unlike Godzilla himself, the baby has a very gentle nature and forms a bond with scientist Azusa Gojo, whom he's imprinted on as his mother. Just then, Godzilla appears and heads for Kyoto, causing massive destruction as he goes. Mechagodzilla is sent  to intercept him and while the robot manages to hold its own and even gain the upper hand during the battle, Godzilla is ultimately able to disable it and continue onward. Realizing that he can sense the baby and is coming for him, those in the science institute manage to shield their psychic link by taking the baby down in the bunker below the building. Unable to find the baby, Godzilla leaves Kyoto in utter frustration and rage. While Mechagodzilla is being repaired, an examination of Baby reveals that he has a second brain in his spine and, assuming that the same applies to Godzilla, it's decided to target this weak point with Mechagodzilla in order to paralyze him. The Japanese Self-Defense Force also plans to use Baby as a means to lure Godzilla to an uninhabited island in order to launch the attack, much to the objections of those who have become close to the little creature. Things then become more complicated when the psychic children sing the song from the plants and end up reviving and further empowering Rodan, who heads out to retrieve Baby, whom he sees as a half-brother. With now two monsters to fight, it seems like G-Force has its hands full in its mission to defeat Godzilla. And what's more, due to Baby, the question now is if killing Godzilla is even the right thing to do.

Around the time that Godzilla and Mothra: The Battle for Earth was about to be released in Japan, Toho signed a deal with TriStar Pictures to produce an American-made Godzilla movie with a huge budget and state-of-the-art special effects. So enthused was the Japanese studio about this prospect that, to keep from stepping TriStar's toes, they decided that they would end their own series of movies as soon as that film got underway. TriStar had originally intended for their film to be in theaters by December of 1993 but when it became clear that wasn't going to happen and they pushed it back to the following December, Toho decided to fill the gap with Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II, which they intended to be the last of the Japanese films. I've heard rumors that, to that end, Toho initially decided to kill Godzilla off completely in this movie, with one scenario of it involving his life-force turning Baby Godzilla into an adult (an idea that would be used for the ending of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah), but ultimately decided not to. Supposedly, when it became clear that the American movie wasn't going to be ready by December of 1994 either, Toho decided to rewrite the movie to where Godzilla does initially get killed but gets resurrected in some way (they went through a couple of scenarios for this before settling on the one in the final film). While that could be the truth, I've also heard that, even when they still thought this was going to be the last one, they always intended to have Godzilla die and then come back to life (since Godzilla's ultimate fate in the film became a rumor in the months leading up to its release, it could be possible that this whole resurrection idea was simply to create a buzz that Godzilla would die, enticing people to see the film). That actually works too, actually, because the ending to this film, with Godzilla and Baby swimming off into the horizon as a chorus of people vocalize on the soundtrack and a couple of our main characters talk about how there might be another age of dinosaurs long after man's time on Earth has passed, feels very final. In fact, if this was how the Japanese series of films ended, I think it would have been just fine. Either way, since Toho came to realize that the American-made movie was going to take longer to produce than expected, this was ultimately not the end of the Japanese series, nor did it conclude with a final, permanent death for Godzilla. Godzilla would eventually die, just not yet.

Another story that I've heard from a couple of sources is that Toho managed to talk Ishiro Honda into returning to the director's chair for this film. While this may not seem likely given Honda's very vocal disdain for Godzilla's resurrection in 1984, which led to him refusing the offer to direct that film, it does appear that his feelings about it had softened over the years. He'd actually visited the sets for a couple of the previous films, most notably that of Godzilla and Mothra the previous year, so it does seem that the rift had been repaired. However, that said, I'm not so sure that Honda would have been eager to get back in the director's chair, especially on a big effects movie like this, since he was 81 by this point and hadn't actually directed since 1975. David Kalat says that Honda was content to simply continue acting as assistant director to his friend Akira Kurosawa and had no desire to be part of the new series. Plus, given that Honda died in February of 1993 and it was expected for the American film to be in theaters that December, I'm not even sure if Toho had planned to put Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II into production while he was still alive. They may have asked him to participate in the new series a couple of times before but I don't know about this specific film. Whatever the case, Honda's death that February put a permanent end to the matter and so, Toho went back to Takao Okawara, who had since directed something with the lurid title of Bloody Scary Horror. Like I said in my review of the previous film, Okawara wasn't the biggest fan of Godzilla but, that said, something tells me that he had to have liked the script for this one (although I've read that he initially wasn't a fan of the idea of Baby Godzilla). Not only does he film the action in a very fast and exciting manner, constantly creating a feeling of energy throughout them, but he also manages to get some great, three-dimensional performances out of his actors, especially in the case of Dr. Gojo and the Baby Godzilla. I don't think you can elicit such genuine emotion and heart from scenes involving a grown woman and an actor in a rubber baby dinosaur suit if you're a director who's completely detached from and uninterested in what you're filming. I think the script itself really helps with that. For the first time since Godzilla vs. Biollante, we have a film that didn't involve Kazuki Omori in any way. Instead, we have a screenplay by Wataru Mimura, who was a huge fan of Shinichi Sekizawa's writing-style of fast and simple and so, he followed emulated that when writing this film. As a result, we have a story that's much less complex and confusing, that's more concerned with being a fun, high-octane monster movie than dealing with big, real-world issues and, since I feel that Omori's tackling of such, while commendable, bogged the last few films down, I think this one is better for it. It also makes me wish that he had been able to write more screenplays for the Heisei series. While he would return to the franchise during the Millennium series, he would never again be able to write a Godzilla screenplay completely on his own and, as you'll see when we get to some of those films, I think that was a mistake.

Our lead this time, Kazuma Aoki, is played by Masahiro Takashima, another son of former King Kong vs. Godzilla star Tadao Takashima (whom, I might add, has a cameo here as the director of the psychic institute, along with two psychic girls played by the Cosmos themselves, Keiko Imamura and Sayako Osawa). Like his brother Masanobu did back in Godzilla vs. Biollante, Takashima proves that he has the same acting chops as his father, coming across as likable, charismatic, and a just little bit geeky. You feel bad for the guy because he has no idea why he's been selected to be a member of G-Force (neither does his stern superior, for that matter) since he's a technician and not a soldier and, as a result, the grueling training proves to be hell on Earth for him. If he's not getting the crap beaten out of him during the physical part of the training, he's either falling asleep during the classes about how to fight Godzilla or messing up during a simulation of a battle with the Big G (he's both funny and sympathetic when you see him spinning around in the simulation chair, screaming like mad). It's small wonder why, when he hears of the recovery of a supposed Pteranodon egg, he goes to see it, without getting permission first, since this is one of his true passions, and spends more time trying to figure out what this strange plant that coats the egg is and with the scientists after the egg hatches to reveal a baby Godzillasaur. This does not sit well with his superiors, particularly when he's unable to fulfill his role as a member of Mechagodzilla's crew when Godzilla attacks, and it ends up getting him demoted to being in charge of the base's parking lot! But, even though it's not something he was initially enthralled with, Aoki does take responsibility for his mistakes and even offers up an idea to increase Mechagodzilla's power by having the robot join up with his own ship, the Garuda, which works. He's even learned enough from his mistakes to the point where, when Mechagodzilla is sent out again to save the container holding Dr. Gojo and Baby from Rodan, he personally takes command of the Garuda and aids Mechagodzilla in fighting Rodan. He ends up getting the ship damaged by Rodan to where he has to spend a good amount of time repairing it but still, at least he's now trying to be a helpful part of the force. Once he gets the Garuda working again, Aoki joins it up with Mechagodzilla in order to form Super Mechagodzilla and use the combined power to bring Godzilla down. That's another thing about Aoki: while Gojo and Miki, due to their interactions with Baby, grow to now feel sympathy for Godzilla, Aoki doesn't. He feels for Baby, but he still understands G-Force's stance on ridding the world of Godzilla's wrath and so, is not above helping them to do so, especially now that he's decided to be more a team-player. He also takes part in their battle with Rodan, although that could be mainly due to his desire to help Gojo and Baby, and he's even excited when they temporarily manage to defeat Godzilla. On the other hand, though, when Godzilla comes back to life and Baby goes off with him, Aoki isn't too eager to continue fighting him, probably because he's happy that Baby now has another of his species to look after him.

One of the most sympathetic human characters in the film is Dr. Azusa Gojo (Ryoko Sano), who becomes the Baby Godzilla's surrogate mother after he hatches. When you first see her during the expedition on Adona Island, you expect her to be nothing more than a faceless assistant to Prof. Omae, the lead scientist, but when they take the egg back to Japan, you quickly learn that she's going to have a much bigger role when Omae tells her that the creature inside the egg has imprinted on her as its mother. When the Baby Godzillasaur hatches out of the egg, Gojo is noticeably intimidated by him at first but, when it becomes obvious that he's not at all aggressive and that he does see her as his mother, she becomes attached to him and feeds him a flower. Their bond grows even stronger when they take Baby down into the bunker beneath the institute to prevent Godzilla from sensing his location and Gojo, seeing that he's become frightened when Godzilla's frustration about not being able to find him violently shakes the building, comforts him and calms him down. From that point on, the two of them are inseparable, with Gojo looking after him while he's being kept in a special enclosure for study. They do come across as mother-and-child when Baby goes through something of a "terrible twos" stage and becomes rather mischievous, taking Gojo's shoe away when she's cleaning a waterhole in his enclosure and relentlessly pestering her to let him have some of her food even though he's just eaten. But, like any good relationship like that, it's obvious that there's still love between the two of them, which is demonstrated when Gojo objects to the plan to use Baby as a way to lure Godzilla to an uninhabited island in order to attack him with Mechagodzilla, saying that he doesn't belong to them or anyone else, that he's not an asset. Unfortunately, she has no choice but to allow the plan to go through, but that said, when Baby becomes frightened when they put him in the large container by himself, Gojo decides to ride with him to keep him company, putting her own life in danger for him. She truly has become attached to the little guy as a surrogate parent, which is why it's heartbreaking for her to have to give him up to Godzilla at the end of the movie. Knowing that it's for his own good, Gojo leaves Baby behind, making it clear that she still loves him before she leaves, and when he's at first terrified of Godzilla, she has to ask Miki to use her psychic powers to make Baby understand that he must be with one of his own kind. It works and Baby accepts Godzilla as his father, going off with him into the ocean, which is satisfactory for Gojo, even though she knows that she'll still miss Baby.

After three movies where she was, at best, a plot device and, at worst, a spectator, Megumi Odaka finally gets the chance to flesh out Miki Saegusa. First off, while her psychic abilities are the very reason why she first comes into the story, she still takes a very active part of the investigation into what the strange plant is that's coating the eggshell as well as helping the scientists when Baby Godzilla hatches out of the egg. It's her who realizes that there's some sort of link between Baby and Godzilla and she comes up with the idea to isolate Baby somewhere in order to keep Godzilla from sensing where he is when he's looking for him in Kyoto. However, what's more important about Miki in this film is how her attitude about Godzilla changes. Before, Miki was a willing participant in the Japanese Self-Defense Force's attempts to kill Godzilla, offering her psychic powers to help them find him several times in Godzilla vs. Biollante, which led to her becoming an official member of the team meant to keep tabs on him. Like Aoki and Gojo, Miki becomes emotionally attached to Baby after interacting with him and strongly objects to the plan to use him as bait for Godzilla. More importantly, this emotional attachment to the young creature has led her to feel sympathy for Godzilla himself, despite the threat that he poses to mankind. As she herself tells Aoki and Gojo, "Until now, I believed fighting Godzilla was a benefit to mankind. But now, that feeling's gone." Gojo then says, "It's because of Baby, isn't it?" and Miki confirms that as the reason. That's why it's doubly troubling for her when she's picked to be part of Mechagodzilla's crew in order to use her psychic powers in locating Godzilla's second brain so it can be destroyed with the G-Crusher. Like Gojo in her protest of Baby being used as bait, she has no choice in the matter, and when she does try to stop Mechagodzilla's computer from locking onto that second brain, she's angrily ordered by one of her superiors to follow her orders. She reluctantly locks onto the brain and fires the electrical discharge that destroys it herself. It's funny how her reactions to the next couple of situations are opposite from everyone else's. When Godzilla is killed, everyone except her is thrilled, and when he's revived by Rodan's life-force, she's excited while everyone is horrified. Finally, at the end of the movie, she has to use her psychic powers to make Baby understand that he has to go with Godzilla and when the two of them do go off, Miki once for all shows how her attitude has changed by silently saying goodbye to both Baby and Godzilla, no doubt hoping that both of them can now live in peace. From here on out, she will remain on Godzilla's side.

Another plus for this film is that the supporting cast is also made up of people who are either likable or, at the very least, interesting to watch. Prof. Omae (Yusuke Kawazu), the head of the scientific expedition that finds the egg on Adona Island, is a really likable guy who comes across as both wise and compassionate. He acts like something of a father figure to Gojo, being the first one to make her realize that the creature inside the egg has imprinted on her as its mother, something that he seems to support and encourage. He's also very compassionate about Baby himself, clearly seeing him as more than just an important scientific specimen when he shows concern for him being frightened when he's put inside a container late in the film. Speaking of which, you can see a little bit of Omae's fatherly side towards Gojo when he asks her if she's sure what she wants to stay in the container with Baby when the mission is about to get underway. Finally, he's intelligent enough to deduce that Baby's egg was laid inside of a Pteranodon's nest in the same way that some birds lay their own eggs in the nests of other birds and also that Rodan, whom he also identifies as having been mutated by radioactivity like Godzilla, is coming for Baby because he looks at him as something of a half-brother since they were born in the same nest, making everyone realize that the helicopter carrying the container is in danger.

The members of the UNGCC and G-Force make up the rest of the supporting cast. The most notable one, who will appear in the two following films as well, is Commander Aso (Akira Nakao), a big, gruff guy who takes the job of eliminating Godzilla from the face of the Earth very seriously. He's really intimidating, especially when he's shouting orders, which he does a lot, and he's the character who truly sees Godzilla as a threat that must be defeated no matter the cost and Baby as nothing more than an asset to help achieve that goal. Although we're told this in any of the three films that he appears in, Aso appears to have something of a personal vendetta against Godzilla, especially here when he becomes elated when it looks as if Mechagodzilla is going to defeat him, exclaiming, "Did you see it? Mechagodzilla's strength? It can absorb your energy and fire it back at you!" He's so gun-ho about killing Godzilla that, when he temporarily disables Mechagodzilla during their first battle, he yells for the robot to get back up and chase him, with someone else having to tell him that Mechagodzilla is in no condition to continue the fight. As I said, he has no sympathy for Baby either since he sees him as nothing more than a useful commodity to help them fight Godzilla, and only refers to him as the Godzillasaur instead of "Baby." He also doesn't take kindly to those around him who have grown sympathetic towards Baby, and, by extension, Godzilla, especially Miki, whom he needs to locate the second brain in Godzilla's spine. When Miki objects to the idea of Baby being used as bait, Aso growls at her, "Your attitude is troublesome," and when Miki hesitates in blowing up Godzilla's second brain, Aso angrily yells at her over the intercom to do as she's been ordered. While his attitude does make him seem pretty hateful, I, for one, understand where Aso is coming from in his desire to kill Godzilla and, therefore, why he doesn't grow close to Baby like the others. His intentions are undoubtedly good, but his blunt, short-fused personality makes him come across as very cruel.

Koichi Ueda is here again as Gen. Hyodo, whom he first played in Godzilla vs. Biollante, but he barely does anything here so he's not worth dwelling on. After being absent in the previous film, Kenji Sahara pops up here as Segawa, the director of the UNGCC. The big thing with film is that, while he does still believe that Godzilla must be destroyed and doesn't exactly share Gojo and the others' sympathies towards Baby, he's much more sympathetic about it than Aso is, calmly telling Gojo that it's G-Force's duty to rid the world of the threat of Godzilla. Most tellingly, though, he allows her to ride in the container with Baby, in the process holding back Aso, who is about to step forward in that scene to pull her out of there personally. In another moment where he counterbalances Aso's more stern, loud way of doing things, the commander yells as Miki to destroy Godzilla's second brain, Segawa calmly says, "Proceed, Miss Saegusa." He may still think that Godzilla must be destroyed but he's not as overzealously cruel about it as Aso. Among the UNGCC's military officials and technicians is an American scientist, Asimov (Leo Mengetti), who seems to have been the chief technician in creating Mechagodzilla. He doesn't have much of an impact on the plot, and, truth be told, the actor who plays him isn't the best (although, he's better than some of the English-speaking actors we've seen in the last few movies), but he's still noteworthy merely for the fact that an American guy was the lead scientist behind the ultimate anti-Godzilla weapon, as well as that he's smart enough to listen when Aoki suggests using the Garuda to boost Mechagodzilla's power.

Rounding out the supporting cast are the actual members of G-Force who pilot Mechagodzilla. The most notable one is Captain Sasaki (Daijiro Harada), a very, very stern officer who is not at all happy about a dinosaur nerd like Aoki being chosen as part of his crew (his nickname for him in the Japanese version is, "Dinosaur Boy"). To say that he verbally destroys Aoki during their first meeting is an understatement. He himself says that he doesn't get why Aoki was chosen but has no choice but to make him part of the team, yelling at him that he won't tolerate any laziness. He becomes no less sympathetic towards Aoki during the training and when he officially becomes part of the force. When Aoki misses joining up with the flight crew when Godzilla first appears in Japan, Sasaki demotes him to being in charge of the parking lot. But, when Aoki takes command of Garuda himself when Mechagodzilla is deployed the second time, Sasaki allows him to join in the battle and get Rodan away from the container that Gojo and Baby are trapped in. He's not too sympathetic towards Aoki when Rodan causes Garuda to crash, calling him an idiot, but when Aoki repairs the ship and rejoins the fight when Godzilla appears, Sasaki is obviously happy that he's come back, joking with him that he thought he'd decided to take another day off like he did when Godzilla first appeared. And ultimately, while he and his crew do everything they can to defeat Godzilla, at the end of the movie when they themselves have been defeated, Sasaki seems to have come to some kind of understanding, saying that life was the victor, with one of his lieutenants adding that it was life over artificial life. Speaking of which, that lieutenant is a tough, American woman (Sherry Sweeney) who doesn't have a lot of dialogue or screentime but proves at the beginning of the movie when she dominates Aoki in their physical training that she's not someone to be messed with. In fact, there was a scene deleted from the final cut that revealed her to be an android(!), which would have both explained her rather emotionless voice and made that statement of hers at the end of the film very ironic. Finally, I have to mention Lt. Sonezaki (Ichirota Miyagawa), the other member of the team who takes Aoki for drilling when he first arrive at G-Force headquarters and seems to enjoy beating the crap out of him during the physical part of the training. His disdain for him is further shown when the female lieutenant knocks Aoki backwards onto his lap and Sonezaki shoves the unconscious guy off.

Every entry in the Heisei series has instances of English dialogue in the original Japanese version, be it from the Japanese actors or from actors other nationalities, typically American, but Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II has the most. In fact, I'd say that the Japanese version of this particular film has more English dialogue than any other in the entire series, with it being virtually equal to the amount of actual Japanese-language dialogue. As a consequence, when I re-watched the movie for this review, I wasn't reading subtitles as much as I usually do while watching the original versions of these films. However, if you've been following these reviews for a while, you'd know that a lot of English-dialogue in the original versions of these films isn't necessarily a good thing and that's certainly the case here. As I've said before, the biggest problem is when you have Japanese actors with very thick accents who clearly don't know what they're saying and are reciting their lines phonetically and in this case, you get that mostly from Daijiro Harada as Captain Sasaki. Sasaki often speaks in English when talking to his crew, especially when they're in Mechagodzilla's cockpit, and his accent is so thick that it's usually nigh impossible to understand what he's saying, especially since I haven't watched the English dub version in a while and don't remember the exact dialogue in some of those scenes A particular example is the scene early on when he's teaching his crew where the safety zone is when battling Godzilla. I couldn't begin to tell you what the bulk of his dialogue was there. A couple of other actors, most notably Masahiro Takashima, speak English here and there throughout the film but since those scenes are very brief, and what they're saying isn't quite as complex, it's not as big of an issue. The other issue with this situation, as we've seen many times in the past, is that the English dialogue is often spoken by people who can speak it fluently but, that said, clearly aren't really actors and can't emote to save their lives. While the Americans in this film, Leo Mengetti and Sherry Sweeney, aren't as cringe-inducing in their performances as the Middle Eastern characters in Godzilla vs. Biollante or the American GIs in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah, they still leave a lot to be desired for, especially Mengetti since he's onscreen quite a bit. As before, when this film's English dub was created, they dubbed over the English-speaking actors as well as the Japanese actors, resulting in some better vocal performances. However, as we'll see when we get to it, that's one of the few benefits of the dub.

Another one of the few things that I don't like about this film has to do with an aspect of the plot that I've always felt was out of place: the strange plants that the scientists find coating the bottom half of Baby's egg. I've never been fond of this whole concept about the plants containing some kind of psychic energy that can be translated into strange music that energizes both Baby, allowing him to hatch out of his egg in the first place, and Rodan to the point where he recovers from the injuries he received in the battle with Godzilla and becomes super-powered. It feels a little too fantastical when compared to the rest of the film for me. Some may say that about how both Godzilla and Rodan can sense Baby's presence due to some sort of mental connection but, for some reason, I've always been able to buy that as a possible example of strong animal instinct and whatnot, seeing as how real animals can often sense how other animals and people are feeling. This thing with the plants, though, feels a little too out there for this kind of story and, since it's a very small subplot and is never adequately explained, or resolved, for that matter, I think it could have easily been dropped from the script. Yes, it's weird for me to complain about that when one of the main characters of this second cycle of movies is a girl with psychic powers, not to mention that the previous film dealt with monsters of possible divine origin but, again, think about it: plants with a type of energy that can be translated as music that empowers Baby and Rodan. Doesn't that seem a little too strange even for a Godzilla movie?

Unlike the previous films in the Heisei series, this one doesn't try to tackle any major political, economical, or hot-button environmental issues, which, as I said, makes the story flow better and the film as a whole come across as just a straightforward, fun Godzilla movie. There is a deeper theme here, but it's done very subtly and is interwoven as a part of the story well enough to where its outcome at the end, which is stated outright by Captain Sasaki and Lt. Berger, feels very natural. It's all about life against artificial life and how, no matter how advanced or powerful man's technology becomes, it can't hope to bring down what good old mother nature can up with (Godzilla and Rodan may have been mutated by the end results of man's arrogance but they're still creatures of nature first and foremost and also, let's not forget that one of the themes of the original Godzilla is how nature uses Godzilla as a way to strike back at man for that arrogance). Indeed, technology is constantly coming up short throughout the film, be it when Godzilla, after being literally brought to his knees, manages to defeat Mechagodzilla during their first battle by sending electrical surges back towards the robot through the shock anchor cables imbedded in him or when Aoki's personal flying machine, which he models after a Pteranodon, crashes when he takes it on its first flight. The most telling moment, though, comes during the climactic battle when Mechagodzilla and the Garuda, which, in case you didn't know, is named after a bird from Japanese mythology, join up to become Super Mechagodzilla and manage to put Godzilla down for the count. While they're celebrating their victory, Rodan lands on Godzilla's back and gives him his life energy, fusing with him in some respects, resulting in Godzilla being revived more powerful than ever and able to take Mechagodzilla down with barely any effort. The coming together of a real bird and the real Godzilla was much more powerful than the fusion of the mechanical bird and mechanical Godzilla. In addition to the actual conflict, it's also a case of mankind itself underestimating the power of nature, given how Commander Aso and the UNGCC don't see Baby as anything other than a useful asset, thereby not understanding just how strong Godzilla and Rodan's protective instincts towards him are. It all fits into the summation given at the end of the movie, that life is always the victor over anything that mankind can create.

Amazingly, even though Godzilla himself doesn't change by the end of the movie, is still a destructive, violent monster who will continue to pose a threat to mankind and, in fact, is even more powerful by the end than he was before, the filmmakers still manage to believably illicit sympathy and compassion for him, both on the sides of some of the characters in the film and the audience. Because of their interactions with Baby, Dr. Gojo and Miki Saegusa no longer think of Godzilla as just an evil monster but rather, as a creature who has as much right to live as any human does. He may still be a volatile but, again, thanks to Baby, they now realize that he does have a heart and a soul. The conflict between this viewpoint and that of the Japanese Self-Defense Force and the UNGCC, who feel that their duty is to rid the world of Godzilla's wrath, creates an interesting moral ambiguity in regards to the monster, with neither side being wrong in their assertions. What's more, we as an audience see for ourselves that there is a soul and an intelligence within Godzilla since he spends the entirety of the film trying to find Baby, whom he is able to sense. You can understand that the reason he wants Baby is because he's the only other surviving member of his species and that he wants another creature like him to connect with. But, every time he comes for Baby, something always gets in his way, be it Rodan when he first arrives on Adona Island, Mechagodzilla when he heads to Japan both times after he senses Baby there, or when the human characters hide Baby, blocking the link the two of them have. The first sequence with Godzilla in Japan is where you can really read his emotions (small wonder why this is often sighted as Kenpachiro Satsuma's finest work as the character) and start to feel for him, which is something they haven't tried to do since The Return of Godzilla, save for the subplot with Shindo in Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. When he first arrives, he is clearly furious at having been unable to claim Baby back on Adona Island, intentionally smashing and blowing stuff up in a rage. While Mechagodzilla initially has the upper hand on him when they fight, Godzilla manages to immobilize the robot and takes the opportunity to brutally trounce it before continuing his rampage, making his way to Kyoto. When he reaches the city and heads towards the science institute where Baby is being kept, you can see that Godzilla can sense that the little Godzillasaur is somewhere within the building but when he's unable to find him, he becomes confused and enraged again, firing his atomic blast up into the air and smashing some of the building as well. He then reluctantly heads back out to sea, taking his frustration out on more of Kyoto as he goes. By the time he returns in the third act, enough sympathy has been built towards him where you don't want him to die by the hands of Mechagodzilla and are excited when Rodan's life-force revives him. Moreover, when he and Baby finally meet, you understand why Baby is initially scared of Godzilla but you also understand Godzilla's apparent frustration when the little guy runs from him and hope that he will finally accept him as a surrogate father, which he eventually does. All of this makes the conflicting feelings toward Godzilla work really well. You get that he is indeed a great threat to man but, at the same time, you come to understand him more here than you have so far in this second series of films and, by the end of the movie, when he and Baby are swimming off into the sunset, you hope that his being with another of his species will quell his rage and enable him and mankind to coexist peacefully.

Once again, Godzilla's look is changed very subtly from the previous film. His head is a bit smaller than it was previously, his eyes are now a distinct, golden color, and his face and head are even more expressive here than they were before. His head often shifts up and down with his jaws as they open and close when he roars, his eyes look and are photographed in such a way that you can see some life in there, which you couldn't in some of the previous versions of this design, and when you see the particularly impressive cable-controlled heads used for close-ups, you can see the muscles in his face moving and twitching, especially those of his eye-lids and brows. What's odd is that, while the suit's face has the now usual cat-like appearance when you see it from straight on (which is particularly amplified here, I might add), the animatronic heads actually look more dog-like and yet, they're still believable as being shots of the same creature's face! That's just weird! I'm glad that they're not jarring because I really, really like these animatronic heads but, again, that is bizarre. As you can see, his body is still very massive and powerful, although his thighs are now noticeably... thicker than they were before. I guess they're right when they say that fat goes straight in that direction. It doesn't matter, though. He still looks like a very, very strong monster. Also, I have to mention how you can sometimes see his dorsal plates billowing when he walks, especially at the end of the movie when he's heading back out to the ocean. I don't why but I've always liked that. It makes them feel more organic in my opinion. Like they did before, they reuse the suit from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah for the water scenes, which is especially noticeable when he first appears in the movie because he goes from having those dark, expressionless eyes to the more lively, golden ones he has for the rest of the film, as well as because the heads of the two costumes are shaped differently. Godzilla's roar is again the classic, screeching one that we heard for the first time since the original series in the previous film, albeit now accompanied by some distinct, reptilian hisses now and then. By the end of the movie, when he's soaked up Rodan's life-force to become even more powerful and unstoppable than he was before, Godzilla shows off his incredible rise in power by using a red-colored, super atomic blast that absolutely barbecues Mechagodzilla, putting the giant robot down for the count with barely any effort on Godzilla's part. Unfortunately, going back to the first time I saw this movie, my having first seen Godzilla vs. SpaceGodzilla, the end of which has him using his super atomic blast again, made this moment where Godzilla first shows off this new power anticlimactic. Furthermore, it made me wonder why Godzilla didn't use this power throughout the entirety of SpaceGodzilla, seeing as how he goes back to using his normal, blue-colored atomic blast up until the end there. And finally, this movie says that both Godzilla and Baby have a second brain in their spines, which is located in their hips. It's a very strange, out-of-nowhere anatomical tidbit that is never brought up again and, while I don't hate it personally (as a kid, I thought it was kind of cool that Godzilla had two brains), it serves no other purpose than giving the humans an Achilles heel that they can exploit, one that quickly proves pointless when Godzilla is revived by Rodan immediately after he's been felled.

Mechagodzilla (Wataru Fukuda) is not a character at all in this movie but rather, is another high-tech defense vehicle that the JSDF has built to combat Godzilla. It serves the same purpose as both iterations of the Super-X and Mecha-King Ghidorah did before it, which is why I don't get why it actually has a roar, which is little more than a robotic version of Godzilla's own roar. I really don't see the point in giving it one, unless they think they can psych Godzilla out with it, which doesn't work at all. But, all that said, this Mechagodzilla is certainly a very cool creation. First off, it looks very powerful, coming across as actually being made of metal, which you can't quite say for the original Mechagodzilla, feels absolutely massive and convincing in its design, and even though its overall design is more rounded than the sharp-edged original incarnation, that doesn't at all hurt its coming across as a formidable opponent for Godzilla or any monster. James Rolfe said that he didn't like the expression on this Mechagodzilla's face, which he described as dopey-looking, but I've never minded it, although I do agree with him that the original looks much meaner. Also like its predecessor, this Mechagodzilla is armed to the teeth with high-tech weaponry, which, I might add, makes the original's already impressive arsenal look feeble by comparison. Its armor is a very advanced, tough kind called NT-20, which is coated with a layer of artificial diamond that allows it to absorb Godzilla's atomic blast and fire it back at him from a weapon in its center called the Plasma Grenade, like the Super-X2's Fire Mirror. Like the original Mechagodzilla, this one has powerful eye-beams as well as an energy beam from its mouth called the Mega Buster, tranquilizer and paralyzer missiles to make Godzilla sluggish and unable to move, and shock anchor cables that it fires from its wrists into Godzilla's flesh, which it follows up with a series of crippling electrical surges. These cables were modified after the first battle with Godzilla into a more powerful weapon called the G-Crusher, designed to destroy the second brain in Godzilla's spine. In addition, the robot itself was given the ability to join with the Garuda to become Super Mechagodzilla, where it could now fire the Garuda's own lasers in addition to being able to fly faster due to that ship's thrusters. As for the Garuda itself, it's basically just another iteration of the Super-X: an advanced aircraft with high-tech weapons and armor. On its own, it's not that formidable since all it has for weapons are lasers and its armor is not nearly as strong as Mechagodzilla's, but that said, it is quite agile and fast in the air, and it and Mechagodzilla make for a devastating combat vehicle when the two of them join together.

Baby Godzilla (Ryu Hurricane), or simply "Baby," as everyone calls him, is basically just an updated, more realistic version of Minya in that it's never made clear whether he's really Godzilla's son or not but, regardless, Godzilla officially becomes his father by the end of the movie. In any case, it's hard not to find this little guy to be really cute with his big, amber eyes, little dorsal plates, and the cooing and chirping-like sounds that he makes. Since he's actually a baby Godzillasaur rather than an actual baby Godzilla, he's a gentle herbivore and is very friendly towards the people around him, especially Dr. Gojo since he imprints on her as his mother. Like all youngsters, he proves to be rather curious and mischievous, relentlessly pestering Gojo to give him some of her food even though he just ate and taking one of her shoes away from her and hiding it in a big stack of hay, which he digs around in. I particularly like his curiosity when Aoki and Gojo go for a ride on this little miniature aircraft around his pen, as well as when he walks up to them with a concerned look on his face when they end up crashing it, as if he's like, "Crap, are you okay?!" However, what really makes you feel for Baby is how he wears his emotions right on his face. His eyes glow red whenever he's frightened, which prompts Gojo to come to his aid and comfort him. That's why it's sad to see him initially run and hide from Godzilla at the end of the movie, since he doesn't understand that he has to be with another of his own kind and why the person he thought was his mother has left him by this point. Speaking of which, when Gojo is trying to do her best to make Baby understand that she has to leave, if you look closely, you can see a tear run down his face, which is very heartbreaking since it shows that all he understands is that he's being left behind. Some may think that actually having him cry is a bit much and takes away from the idea of him being an animal, a creature of instinct, first and foremost but I think the emotion here is so palpable that it works. Finally, even though he's afraid of Godzilla when he first meets him up close, there is something of a link between the two of them, as well as between him and Rodan, since the two adult monsters can sense his presence whenever he's distressed and Baby can actually call for help by using this link, which he does when he's being placed in the container as well as near the end of the movie when he can sense that something has happened to Godzilla and he very loudly calls out to Rodan (his cry has a little bit of Godzilla's screech within it in that instance). I don't know if Baby completely understands it since he never actually meets Godzilla and Rodan until very late in the movie but, again, I think there's that idea of instinct again where he simply senses that something is wrong and reacts to it. Oh, and the energy from those plants' song gives both him and Rodan energy, which enabled Baby to hatch from his egg in the first place as well as cause him to have a fit and smack the side of his pen at one point. Again, I don't like that idea so I'm not going to dwell on it for long but, otherwise, I do really like Baby.

In both the original Japanese version and English dub of this film, Rodan's name is pronounced as "Radon," which is the original Japanese pronunciation and spelling of it, but, for consistency's sake, I will continue to call him Rodan. To me, this is the best depiction of him since the original 1956 film that introduced him. If you read my reviews of the Showa Godzilla movies that featured Rodan, you'd know that he was almost always played for laughs in both his design and depiction, which wasn't something I liked. The iteration of him here, however, makes up for all of that, giving back a lot of Rodan's dignity. For one, he looks great. It's obvious in close-ups that he's made of rubber, as it is with Baby, but he's designed very well, coming across as an awesome, powerful creature of the skies with his enormous, leathery wings, the three horns on the back of his head, with the center one being curved upward, and the believable, Pteranodon look of his head and beak. I'm really glad that they got the face and head right instead of making him look googly-eyed and stupid as had been done before. It's nice to hear that distinctive cry come from an awesome-looking monster bird again. His characterization is also great here, with there being nothing comedic or clumsy about him. Instead, he's depicted as majestic, agile, and powerful, still able to create strong winds with his huge wings to send the humans running for cover, as well as prove to be quite a formidable opponent for Godzilla, dive-bombing him from above and pecking the crap out of him with his beak, creating a loud, harsh noise that sounds like rock being stabbed with a big metal blade. Godzilla does manage to beat Rodan but not without a lot of effort and pain on his part. However, Rodan isn't out yet because when the psychic children sing the song from the plant's energy later on, it revives and energizes him, allowing him to return in a more powerful form that's officially known as Fire Rodan. Not only is his flesh now a bright, vibrant red in this form but he now has a heat-beam all his own, which may not be as powerful as Godzilla's but does do a fair amount of damage. In this new, powerful form, Rodan manages to hold his own against Mechagodzilla and the Garuda, causing the former to crash when Aoki tries to take him on, and while Mechagodzilla does ultimately mortally wound Rodan, the flying monster manages to make one last sacrifice for Baby, whom he's determined to protect because he sees him as a half-brother since they came from the same nest. He flies on top of the now dead Godzilla and gives him his energy, reviving the King of the Monsters and making him powerful than ever, enabling him to easily trounce Mechagodzilla as well as give him the opportunity to adopt and protect Baby, which he does. I really think that's why Rodan ultimately did what he did: he knew he was going to die and so, he gave his power to someone he knew could take care of Baby for him. Needless to say, that makes me like Rodan in this movie even more than I already did.

After two movies where the special effects, while great overall, had some noticeable bits of wonkiness here and there, it's refreshing to finally get a film where there's hardly a bad effect to be seen. There are some occasional, wonky-looking mattes and Rodan and Baby are clearly made of rubber when you see them in close-ups but, that said, the rest of the effects work in this film is so amazing and jaw-dropping in some instances that I'm willing to overlook them. Everything, from the monster suits, puppets, animatronics, and marionettes, to the use of forced perspective, opticals (Godzilla, Mechagodzilla, and Fire Rodan's beam weapons look great here), and pyrotechnics is exquisite. While some of the matte shots are suspect, others, particularly those of technicians moving around Mechagodzilla while it's in a laying position, are absolutely astounding. However, the best effects work in this film comes during the monster battle scenes. While he still has the monsters use their beam weapons a lot, Koichi Kawakita finally decided to put a lot of physical fighting into the mix as well (probably because he'd been taking shots for his overreliance on beam weapons), making for the most entertaining fight scenes we've yet seen in the Heisei series. The fights are fast-paced, well- choreographed and shot with the use of many different camera angles, the monsters are often moving and dodging very quickly, and the battles often come across as downright brutal and hard-hitting. When you combine that with Kawakita's expertise on optical beam effects, incredible fires and explosions, and detailed miniature buildings and landscapes (none of them go to waste during the battles), you've got a lot of fun stuff that contributes to my being confident in calling Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II the most out-and-out entertaining entry in the second cycle of movies. In fact, the effects are of such high-quality here that they make the laughably bad, rushed ones seen in the next film seem even more disappointing and pathetic than they already are.

The film opens up with a shot of the cybernetic middle head of Mecha-King Ghidorah (which, technically, makes the number of monsters in this movie five) as a group of officials look at it, with Commander Aso commenting on its possibilities by saying that, this time, they will defeat Godzilla. We then get a brief summation of the establishment of the United Nations Godzilla Countermeasures Center in 1992, the creation of Garuda, the salvage of Mecha-King Ghidorah, and, ultimately, how the cyborg's 23rd century technology was used to develop Mechagodzilla. After a glimpse at a computerized model of its body, we get a nice montage of shots of the actual robot as the finishing touches are put on it by some mechanical welders while the opening credits play, with these shots so well done in execution that they leave no doubt that this is an enormous battle machine. A truly impressive shot of the officials overlooking Mechagodzilla's enormous body ends the opening sequence, with the movie cutting to two years as the story gets underway. We're given a rundown of some of Mechagodzilla's technical specs and weapons as a technician describes them to a newcomer, which leads to the introduction of Kazuma Aoki and his learning that he's been reassigned to G-Force. After he's introduced to, and verbally destroyed by, Captain Sasaki, Aoki is quite literally thrown into his training which proves to be brutal and uncompromising. We see him getting tossed around during physical training by Second Lieutenant Sonezaki, falling asleep during a lesson about the best way to battle Godzilla, getting his clock cleaned by the lovely but tough-as-nails Lt. Berger (he very stupidly ran at her point blank and got kicked backwards unconscious onto Sonezaki's lap, who promptly rolls him off), and messing up badly during a simulation of a battle with Godzilla, which ends with him screaming like mad as the simulator chair he's sitting in spins around wildly.

Cutting to Adona Island, we meet the scientific expedition led by Prof. Omae and see their discovery of some Pteranodon bones and two eggs, one of which is still perfectly intact and has a bizarre plant coating its bottom half. After the egg has been taken to the scientists' camp, where it's prepared to be taken back to Japan, we see Rodan for the first time as he comes gliding in over the island and lands on a large rock outcropping near the camp. While he's not seen, the scientists do hear the loud sound of his landing and come out of their tents to see what's going on. Gojo then points Omae's attention to the egg, which is glowing bright red, but one of the Russian members of their team spots Rodan and points at him. As everyone sees him for the first time, Rodan lets out his distinct, birdlike cry before taking off and heading straight for the camp, creating a massive gust of wind that sends some of their tents flying and also causes one of the tents to catch on fire when an oil lantern gets turned over. Everyone takes cover behind a small ridge as Rodan turns and appears to fly away, with Prof. Omae explaining what he is. However, they then see that they're not out of danger yet as Rodan comes back around for another pass, forcing them to run for it. They run until they reach a cliff-face overlooking the ocean and as Rodan circles above them nearby, it looks as if they've had it. But that's when a bright glowing and flashing in the nearby ocean catches both their and Rodan's, who has landed on a nearby summit, attention. A blue ray of atomic energy explodes out of the water and blows up the tip of the summit, forcing Rodan to fly back up. As if we didn't already know that it's him, Godzilla's tail and dorsal plates rise of the water before we finally get a look at his entire torso as he roars. When he begins wading towards the island, Rodan comes swooping down at him, the wind from his wings creating massive disturbances in the water as he does so. Godzilla retaliates by firing at him again and while he misses when Rodan flies right by him, he turns around and manages to score a hit along his right wing. Rodan comes back around and heads back for the island, going right past Godzilla and causing more explosions in the water as he goes.

As Godzilla comes ashore and begins heading into the island's interior, the scientists run for their helicopter. That's when Rodan comes back around, lands on Godzilla's back, and begins mercilessly pecking and jabbing his head with his beak. Godzilla sends rocks flying everywhere as he tries to shake Rodan off but the bird keeps his grip and continue stabbing him, with the pecks make very loud and painful-sounding stabbing noises. Rodan finally flies off of Godzilla's back and heads in the other direction, with Godzilla turning around and trying to blast him again but only managing to blow up much of the ground while trying to do so. As Godzilla scans the area, Rodan makes a complete back towards him and, before he can react, scrapes along his right thigh and stomach, sending him falling to the ground. The humans then make it to the helicopter as the fight continues, with Godzilla struggling to get up while Rodan circles above him. Rodan then lands on top of Godzilla and proceeds to viciously peck the crap out of his face and neck, with Godzilla causing him to smash his beak into some rocks on the ground. After a few more pecks, Godzilla grabs Rodan's neck and squeezes, causing mustard-colored blood to begin oozing out the sides. He then throws Rodan backwards and blasts him in the front, with Godzilla taking the opportunity to get up. But, Rodan comes back around and slams into the back of Godzilla's head, causing him to stumble forward and crash into a nearby rocky outcropping, getting half-buried in the process. Rodan flies in to see if Godzilla's down for the count but gets too close to his exposed, thrashing tail and is slammed down to the ground by it, with Godzilla adding several more smacks for good measure. Godzilla then gets up out of the rubble, turns around, and blasts Rodan, who is still lying on the ground and trying to fly away, before stomping over to him and pounding his feet on top of his back. His attention is temporarily distracted by the escaping helicopter, which gives Rodan the opportunity to rise back up. But, before he can get anywhere, Godzilla fires at him, sending him flying backwards, and blasts his front again as he does so. Rodan crashes into a bunch of rocks behind and is apparently killed in the process, as everyone watches from out the window of the helicopter. The aircraft then finally leaves the island, with Godzilla roaring at it as he follows.

Some time later, after Aoki has become aware of the egg and has investigated the source of the strange plants coating its shell with Miki Saegusa, they bring the tape of the music recorded from its energy to play for Prof. Omae. When it is played, the sound from it begins affect to the egg in a nearby room. It shakes and its vital signs begin to spike in frequency as it starts to glow rapidly, while a frightened Gojo watches. As the sounds of the vital signs become constant and piercing, the equipment hooked up to it shorts out and the glass case it's contained in explodes, forcing Gojo to shield herself. Things then become eerily quiet, but they don't stay that way for long as the eggshell begins to crack. A head pokes up out of the top of the egg, which is followed by a tail and feet smashing through it. The creature continues smashing through the eggshell until he's completely free and stands up in front of Gojo, who is now quite freaked out and slowly backs up. The creature steps out of what's left of the glass case and slowly walks toward her, making sloshy footsteps from the mucous membrane that still coats his feet. As he stands in front of her, she heads over to her nearby desk and gets in touch with Omae and the others. They then burst in and see the creature for themselves, as he lets out a loud, Godzilla-like screech while standing there, looking at them. Aoki realizes that it's not a baby Pteranodon, with Miki adding that it's a Godzillasaur. The baby then approaches, causing them to back away in fear, but as he groans and whines, he proves that he's very gentle as he walks up to Gojo and begins licking her hand. Omae then says that this creature isn't like Godzilla and then makes the erroneous statement that it's just from a similar dinosaur species (uh, it's a lot more than just "similar," dude), as Gojo gives the baby a rose to eat, which he gobbles up stem and all. Omae then gives his theory that the baby's egg was probably laid in the Pteranodon's nest the way some birds lay their eggs in the nests of other birds. Just then, Miki senses something and gives them the terrifying news that Godzilla's coming.

Sure enough, we see that Godzilla has reached the mainland and is taking his anger of losing the egg on Adona Island out on an industrial complex, blowing up much of it with his atomic blast, causing an enormous fireball as workers run for cover in the foreground. Moving on into the complex, Godzilla intentionally knocks over a smokestack on his left and causes more huge explosions as he continues walking through it, sending a bunch of civilians and even a TV news crew running for the hills while a siren blares in the background. He then follows this up with more destruction when he fires his atomic blast, blowing up a good chunk of the place and causing huge explosions and fire again to due his hitting a couple of nearby fuel tanks. Segawa, the director of the UNGCC, is informed of Godzilla's attack and he immediately puts the center's headquarters on full alert, with everyone taking their stations in the control room while G-Force is scrambled, albeit without Aoki, who is immediately replaced with another person. As the officials take their places in the control room, the four members of the flight crew head up into Mechagodzilla's cockpit and take their positions. Everything is pulled away from Mechagodzilla as it's rotated up to the standing position, the coolant is inserted into its system, General Hyodo orders the mechanical arms holding the head in place to open, with Dr. Asimov following this up by ordering the body arms to be opened, and the platform the robot is standing on is raised upward, bringing Mechagodzilla up to the surface. Once the remaining body arms are extended away from it, Captain Sasaki orders the main engine to be activated and, with that, Mechagodzilla takes off on its first mission, passing by Mt. Fuji (at least, I think that's Mt. Fuji) as it heads for Godzilla's current location. Godzilla, meanwhile, tears through some high-tension wires and approaches a stadium, prompting the people sitting on the bleachers in there to be evacuated. He walks through an amusement park, which results in more people running frantically for safety, while Mechagodzilla continues on its way. It comes across Godzilla as he enters an area in the countryside full of high-tension towers and surrounded by mountains. As Godzilla watches in curiosity, Mechagodzilla comes in for a landing, setting down on the opposite side of some high-tension wires from Godzilla. He roars at Mechagodzilla and goes into a fighting stance as the robot itself prepares for attack. As everyone back at the command center is given a view of the impending battle via their main video screen, Dr. Asimov notes that it's now time for them to put their technology through the final test.

Mechagodzilla lets out its metallic screech as Captain Sasaki orders them to commence their hover attack. Mechagodzilla lifts up into the air via its thrusters and fires its Mega Buster, blasting Godzilla in the front and head, causing him to stumble backwards. The robot continues hitting Godzilla with the Mega Buster, prompting him to charge forward and smash down one of the electrical towers in his way. Mechagodzilla sets back down and approaches Godzilla, hitting him with an onslaught of its eye-beams, which Godzilla counterattacks with a barrage of his atomic blast, which doesn't faze the robot one bit. Godzilla tilts his head back and forth while hissing at Mechagodzilla, which then uses the energy it absorbed from his blast to charge up its plasma grenade. As Godzilla approaches, the crew fires the plasma grenade, which really throws him for a loop, causing him to crash down onto the ground. With everyone back at the command center happy with the battle's results thus far, especially Commander Aso, the Mechagodzilla crew prepares to use the shock anchor cables. Mechagodzilla fires it paralyzer missiles, hitting Godzilla with a volley of them across the body. Godzilla is now unable to move, although he does manage to fire his atomic blast, which does nothing but get fired back at him a couple of times via the plasma grenade. The power of this blast is so great that it actually sends Godzilla flying backwards across the ground a little bit, finally landing with a loud crash. The crew then fires the shock anchor cables, which pierce into the flesh of Godzilla's stomach and torso. Mechagodzilla then begins discharging some very powerful electrical energy through the cables into Godzilla's body, causing him a great deal of pain. As Godzilla is zapped repeatedly, he roars in pain and begins to foam at the mouth, while everyone back at the command center smiles on, confident that they have him at their mercy. However, that's when Godzilla turns the tables on Mechagodzilla, using his pulse attack to send the electrical surging back through the cables to its source. The equipment in Mechagodzilla's cockpit begins shorting out and the engine room goes up in flames. Mechagodzilla's body, especially its head, convulses wildly from the discharge, while Godzilla, whose eyes temporarily glow an eerie red, gets back up with a roar. Mechagodzilla has now powered down and the crew is unable to make the robot move. Godzilla charges up to the robot and smashes against it, sending it crashing down to the ground on its side. He watches with a very cold expression as Mechagodzilla continues sparking as it shorts out and once he's satisfied that his opponent is down for the count, he walks right by it, continuing on his way. Commander Aso orders for Mechagodzilla to pursue Godzilla but Asimov tells him that the crew will be lucky if they make it back to base. Some time later, as Godzilla continues on his way, General Hyodo informs Aso that it will take a long time to repair Mechagodzilla, with Aso growling that Godzilla will have gone by the time the robot's fixed. Realizing that he's heading for Kyoto, Aso wonders if he knows about the Baby Godzilla there.

A squadron of fighter jets and assault vehicles are sent to intercept Godzilla as he continues walking amongst the mountains. The fighter jets hit him with missiles while the squadron of tanks and maser cannons come up on his side and begin firing on him there. Godzilla actually tries to continue on and wade through the ammo being fired upon him but the fighter jets swing around behind him and hit him in the back. That finally enrages him enough to where he blows up one jet when it flies past him and turns his attention to another that flies past his front, giving it the same treatment. When the maser cannons begin firing on, Godzilla heads straight for them, kicking and smashing some tanks that are in his way before he lets loose on the masers and a couple of other tanks. After turning his head and blowing up the rest of the remaining ground forces, Godzilla goes back to marching towards Kyoto. He enters the outskirts of the city as he continues, destroying anything that gets in his way. Smashing through buildings, Godzilla heads towards Kyoto Tower and takes his anger out on it, blowing it to pieces. With hundreds of civilians running for their lives, Godzilla smashes through more buildings with his powerful legs as we get a nice shot of him looming over the city skyline as people evacuate across as a bridge in the foreground. At the science institute, the place is in absolute chaos as everyone frantically tries to get out of the building. Aoki and Miki come running into the lab where Prof. Omae and Gojo are looking after the baby Godzillasaur and warn them of Godzilla's advance. Gojo then asks Omae if he thinks Godzilla can sense the baby's presence. As the evacuation continues, Miki asks if they someplace in the building where they can isolate the baby and prevent Godzilla from finding him. Omae suggests a research lab beneath the institute. Back outside, Godzilla continues wreaking havoc through Kyoto, passing by a hillside pagoda and advancing on a smaller part of the city, smashing through smaller buildings as he gets ever closer to the institute. At the institute, they bring the baby down into the research lab, where Gojo realizes that the reason Godzilla went to Adona Island is because he knew the egg was there. Upon hearing his thundering footfalls and seeing the room beginning to shake, they realize that Godzilla is getting closer and try to keep Baby calm as he approaches. Godzilla is now approaching the building from the back, roaring as he searches the area. Miki realizes that he's calling for Baby and Baby himself seems to respond to the roar by looking up at the ceiling and groaning. Now right behind the building, Godzilla scans it and then moves over to its side, trying to get a fix on Baby's location, with he research lab now really beginning to shake since he's right on top of them. Unable to find Baby's precise location, Godzilla fires up into the air in frustration and smashes the back of the building's side. The research lab loses its power and switches to emergency lighting, while Godzilla continues roaring in anger and smashing that section of the building. That's when Gojo sees that Baby's eyes are glowing red, meaning that he's frightened, just as it did when the egg itself glowed, and tries to comfort him and calm him down. Outside, Godzilla roars in frustration and turns around, hissing in a mournful, sad way before walking off. As the room stops shaking as he departs, Baby's eyes return to normal. Now angrier than ever, Godzilla vents his rage on other, formerly undamaged sections of Kyoto, causing massive explosions and fires as he goes. The film then cuts to a newspaper that reveals that he returned to the sea via Osaka Bay.

In the midst of the aftermath, Aoki is demoted to being in charge of the parking lot while Baby is transported to a new, more comfortable environment at UNGCC headquarters where he can be studied. As she rides with him in the back of the container truck, Gojo gets pestered by Baby, who wants some of the fast food she has with her even though he just ate. He continually pokes and softly whaps her left arm with his tail before she finally gives in and lets him munch on one of the buns of her hamburger. Upon arriving at the center, Baby happily walks around in his wide living space, which is filled with hay, trees, and a small waterhole, while Gojo talks to Segawa and Aso outside of the pen. Segawa says that they hope to learn from Baby, which prompts Gojo to respond that she's happy to help in that aspect. However, Aso's comment that Baby is an important "asset" to them gives her pause. After a brief scene where we see Dr. Asimov overseeing a series of extensive repairs that Mechagodzilla is being put through, as well as a moment where Aoki is doing a systems check in the cockpit of Garuda, we get a meeting scene where it's revealed that Baby has a secondary brain in his spine, which has prompted them to change Mechagodzilla's attack pattern to concentrate on this Achilles heel with a more powerful shock anchor cable attack known as the G-Crusher, in the hopes of paralyzing Godzilla below the waist. Meanwhile, Aoki uses his demotion to being in charge of the parking lot to his advantage, using it to get Asimov to listen to an idea he has about how to make Mechagodzilla even more powerful (he doesn't allow Asimov to get off the rotating platform in the parking lot until he does listen). He first suggests modifying the Garuda and shows him a computer simulation of the enhancement's effects, and when Asimov asks what becomes of Mechagodzilla then, Aoki shows him his simulation of having the Garuda attach to Mechagodzilla's back to increase the power.

Now, we get a cute scene. While cleaning the waterhole in Baby's pen, Gojo realizes that he took one of her shoes that she had pulled off and when she tells him to give it back, he just continues to do what he's doing, which is dig around in the big mass of hay there. He eventually pokes his head up with a big piece of lettuce in his mouth and innocently coos at her. Aoki then shows up and he and Gojo trade some banter, with Gojo showing him that Baby's been mischievous and when she turns around and tells him to behave, he just coos at her again. As they continue to talk, Baby lifts his head back up, this time showing that he did indeed take her shoe. Aoki then reveals his personal flying machine, whose design he based on a Pteranodon, to Gojo and says that he'd like for her to join him on a little flight. She agrees and as they prepare to do so, Baby comes walking up to the pen, holding Gojo's other shoe in his mouth. The film then cuts to when Aoki engages the machine and it lifts up into the air while he and Gojo sit on its back, as Baby watches in amazement. After Aoki unfurls the machine's wings, they glide over Baby's pen, while he watches their every move. As they make a couple of more passes, Aoki comments how it's going to be hard for Gojo to find a husband since she has such a big "kid" and that she'd also have trouble finding a house big enough to even hold him. After one more pass, Aoki decides to bring the machine in for a landing but when he attempts to do so, the thing malfunctions and they end up crashing into the hay in Baby's pen, with Baby himself walking up to them with a concerned look on his face. Another cut shows them covering the machine's damaged remains with a tarp when Miki arrives with the children from the psychic children, whom she brought so they could see Baby. After looking at him and commenting on how cute he is, with Baby curiously looking at them. Miki then tells Aoki and Gojo that the kids made a chorus from the plants' music and asks them to sing it, which they agree to do. They then begin singing (and yeah, I totally believe that those singing, adult-like voices are coming from those kids), with the room becoming darker as they do so, although the lighting is meant to illustrate the emotion more than actually be a part of the scene, as Baby reacts to the song. Little do they know that their singing reaches all the way to Adona Island and revives Rodan, who slowly begins gathering the strength to lift off of the ground (thinking about it, I don't know why this didn't happen when they first played the tape of the plant's music). Back at the center, Baby seems to throw some kind of fit and begins smacking the pen with his side, groaning as he does so. Gojo tries to get Baby to stop, while Aoki holds onto the pen to keep it from falling over, and she's finally able to calm him down, although he walks apparently feeling very low. As they wonder what that was about, Miki realizes that it must be the song, that something in the melody gives Baby a huge boost of energy. We then see that he's not the only one when it cuts back to Adona Island, where Rodan, in a burst of golden energy, becomes Fire Rodan and flies off, leaving a trail of golden, radioactive dust in his wake.

After it's learned that the military plans to use Baby as a means to lure Godzilla to an uninhabited island where they can attack him, and Miki is told that she is to join Mechagodzilla's flight crew in order to use her telepathy to find Godzilla's secondary brain, we get the scene where Gojo tries to make Segawa reconsider their plans, followed by a conversation between her, Aoki, and Miki where the latter mentions how, because of Baby, she no longer feels that fighting Godzilla is the right thing. When Aoki says that Baby was born 65 million years too late, Gojo comments that he may have actually been born too early, that another dinosaur age could be waiting far in the future. After a solemn shot where Baby momentarily wakes up from sleeping in his pen, only to lay his head back down, it cuts to a scene of him being walked up into a container, with everyone from the military officials to the members of G-Force watching. He's being pulled in via a leash and it's obvious that he's not too thrilled with this since he shakes his head against the tugging. When he's finally lured into the container and the other end of the leash is attached to a hook on the wall, Baby's eyes begin flashing red, revealing that he's scared. Gojo quickly rushes to his aide and comforts him, managing to make the glowing stop. She's then told to that she needs to come out since they're about to close the container but she insists upon staying in there with Baby, saying that he's her responsibility. This is where you get that moment where Commander Aso is about to make her come out himself but Segawa holds him back, telling Gojo that they understand. The container doors are then closed and locked, with Gojo promising Baby that she'll take care of him until the end, and the helicopter takes off.

As the helicopter carrying the container flies off to its destination, everyone in the control center waits for Mechagodzilla and Garuda to launch in half an hour, when they hear a report from Chitose Air Base about a monster bird. Upon hearing this, Prof. Omae immediately asks if they have a visual and when it's put up on the screen, he quickly sees that it's Rodan, alive and well. Rodan then begins causing destruction with his winds and sonic booms, causing massive explosions as he flies over a city. The command center is then informed of a sighting from Sendai Station, which Rodan glides over, leaving more explosions and fire in his wake, as civilians run for cover. As they watch from the command center, Omae theorizes that Rodan is probably going for Baby, that his distress upon being placed in the container may have called the giant bird, who sees him as something of a half-brother. The transport is informed of the danger they're in and the pilot says that they will land as soon as possible. However, it's already too late. Rodan dives at the helicopter from the rear and completely destroys it, sending the container into a free-fall. As Gojo and Baby panic inside from the falling sensation, Rodan swoops in and grabs the container with his talons, promptly flying off with it afterward. Aso then tries to contact the transport but doesn't get a response, which is followed up with Aoki being informed of its disappearance. Carrying the container in his claws, Rodan causes more destruction as he flies over the city, destroying an overpass and even flying over Disneyland, which can only mean that this is the city of Urayasu in Chiba. After a moment where he flies over a baseball stadium and sends civilians running like scared rabbits, G-Force is scrambled, with Miki reluctantly joining the Mechagodzilla crew and taking the special helmet she'll use to engage the G-Crusher against Godzilla. After everyone takes their spots in the cockpit, Mechagodzilla once again takes off, with the Garuda being deployed immediately afterward. On the way to the site, Captain Sasaki learns that Johnson, the pilot who was supposed to be flying Garuda, has been replaced by Aoki, who insists that he must go, that the ship is useless without him behind it. Back at the city, night has fallen and Rodan is circling a particular district while still holding the container in his talons. He finally sets down in a grassy area on the outskirts and begins pecking open the top of the container, with Gojo and Baby shuddering from the force of his pecking. Aso then informs Mechagodzilla and Garuda of what's happening, as Rodan pecks open the top of the container enough to where he can see inside before resuming in order to completely open it up.

The Garuda and Mechagodzilla arrive, which gets Rodan's attention and he watches as the latter comes in for a landing not too far away from him. Mechagodzilla takes a step towards Rodan and screeches at him, which Rodan responds to by showing off his new powers and blasting the robot with his own heat ray. Upon seeing this, the crew decides to use the Plasma Grenade but first, they need to get Rodan away from the container. Sasaki orders Aoki to do so and he complies by flying the Garuda directly at Rodan, while Mechagodzilla hits him with its Mega-Buster (wouldn't that harm Gojo and Baby as much as the Plasma Grenade?) After Rodan is momentarily stunned by the blast, Aoki flies in and hits him with the Garuda's twin laser cannons. Rodan never moves as he takes the hits and the Garuda flies past him and then comes around and blasts him from behind. Again, Rodan doesn't budge as the aircraft flies past him again, although Gojo and Baby are being shaken up the blasts that are happening right near them. Once the Garuda is within his line of sight, Rodan finally lifts off away from the container and flies after the aircraft, firing at it repeatedly. With Rodan chasing after him, Aoki actually turns Garuda around and flies at him, hitting him with his lasers as he passes under him. However, Rodan quickly turns around, chases the Garuda down, and slams his body right on top of it a couple of times, sending it spiraling out of control towards the ground, crashing right into a small building. With Garuda now out of the picture, the Mechagodzilla crew have no choice but to fight Rodan themselves and turn the robot around to face him. Rodan, however, begins circling around Mechagodzilla while hitting it with his heat beam, making it hard for the crew to keep him in sight. As he flies straight at it and fires again, Mechagodzilla manages to score a hit with the Mega Buster and follows that up with a couple of shots from the Plasma Grenade, sending him sailing backwards into a tall building, completely demolishing it. A big chunk of the top section falls on top of Rodan when he hits the ground, pinning him. As Mechagodzilla movies, Aoki regains consciousness inside the crashed Garuda and tries to lift off but realizes that it's presently too badly damaged to do so. Walking up to the helpless Rodan, Mechagodzilla hits him with the Mega Buster but the crew then make the mistake of getting too close to the bird and then bending down to look at him. Rodan quickly flies up out of the rubble and screeches straight at Mechagodzilla, jabbing its head repeatedly with his beak and damaging the right eye to where it can't fire its laser beam. With one eye out, and Rodan continuing to attack, Mechagodzilla manipulates its body so that they're facing each other and blasts him point-blank with the Plasma Grenade, sending him flying backwards and crashing into a smaller section of the city. Rodan is now bleeding profusely from his chest and is gurgling blood out of his beak too, while Mechagodzilla begins approaching to finish him off.

A G-Force helicopter carrying Prof. Omae and some technicians arrives at the spot where the container is still sitting. After realizing that both Gojo and Baby are fine, the technicians begin using an arc-welder to burn an escape hole for them through the container's doors. While they do so, they're momentarily distracted by a bright flash and a shallow explosion from nearby. As a group on onlookers point at something, we hear Godzilla roar and cut to see him approaching from the nearby bay. Upon realizing that he's appeared, Sasaki decides to forget about Rodan and has his crew turn Mechagodzilla to face him. The two monsters then begin approaching each other, with Sasaki ordering Lt. Berger to contact the Garuda. When she says that they're unable to, he orders the Plasma Grenade to be prepared but Lt. Sonezaki says that the energy-generating system is overheating and needs to cool off first. Mechagodzilla continues approaching Godzilla and, with no other options, the crew fires the Mega Buster, which does nothing more than prompt Godzilla to retaliate with his atomic blast. When he fires it, taking out much of a baseball stadium in front of him in the process, Mechagodzilla fires the Mega Buster again and the two energy beams collide in mid-air. After a little bit of tug-o-war, a massive explosion occurs that sends Godzilla falling to the ground while Mechagodzilla begins sparking and shorting out from it. Godzilla gets back up and sees that his foe is momentarily crippled. While Lt. Sonezaki tries to switch to the auxiliary system, Godzilla charges right through the stadium, smashing both sides of its ring, runs up to Mechagodzilla, and shoulder slams into several times before smacking its head down a couple of times, grabbing it on the sides, picking it up, and flinging it away. It crashes onto a plethora of small buildings and warehouse while splayed on its front, with Godzilla roaring victoriously after he watches it do so. He then stomps up to Mechagodzilla, which is now surrounded by flames, and slams its head down with his foot before it can get back up. He stomps the head and neck a bunch of times before swinging around and whacking it in the side with his tail, bringing its damage level up to eight as the joints of its limbs begin to come loose. Knowing that they need his help, they continue to try to contact Aoki.

Meanwhile, Aoki, who is completely unaware of what's going on, finishes the repairs to Garuda when he hears the Mechagodzilla crew's distress call over the intercom, telling them that Godzilla has arrived. Aoki quickly takes for the battle site, where Godzilla is continuing to pummel Mechagodzilla with his powerful tail. Flying up behind him, Aoki hits him with the Garuda's lasers, instantly get his attention. As Godzilla turns around to face the Garuda, Aoki swerves it past him, apparently getting close enough to clip him in the mouth in the process. Godzilla frantically tries to keep the Garuda in his sights as it swerves around, destroying what's left of his surroundings in the process. The Garuda flights right at Godzilla and screeches past him again, with Godzilla quickly turning around and chasing after it. Now that he's distracted, Mechagodzilla's crew use their boosters to get the robot back on its feet. While doing do, they fly Mechagodzilla directly at Godzilla and slam right into his front, knocking him off his feet onto his back. With Mechagodzilla back in the standing position, the Garuda swings around behind it and they prepare to form Super Mechagodzilla. The Garuda's "head" slides backwards and the craft slowly turns up into a vertical position, while its laser cannons turn to aim in a horizontal direction. It then attaches to Mechagodzilla's back and the cannons turn back into a vertical position, completing the formation. Godzilla manages to get back to his feet but before he knows what hits him, Mechagodzilla uses its boosters to hover up off of the ground and turn and face him, with the Garuda's laser cannons now locked onto him. As Godzilla walks toward it, Mechagodzilla unleashes most of its weapons on him: the Mega Buster, the Garuda's lasers, and the paralyzer missiles. Godzilla recoils from this brutal assault as Mechagodzilla agilely hovers towards him while doing so, passing by him in the process. Godzilla turns and fires back at it but he doesn't leave a dent in the robot's armor and only manages to take out a building as it hovers behind it. Coming back into view, Mechagodzilla hits Godzilla with a combination of the Mega Buster and Garuda laser cannons, causing him to have trouble keeping his balance as he fires back again. Mechagodzilla then uses the nuclear energy Godzilla just gave it to blast him with the Plasma Grenade, which hurts him so badly that flesh begins searing and smoking as he falls to the ground. Once he's down, Mechagodzilla hits him with the paralyzer (or, in this case, "tranquilizer") missiles to reduce his mobility as they prepare to use the G-Crusher. Once Godzilla is immobilized, Mechagodzilla hovers above him and hits him with another combination of the Mega Buster and laser cannons. Coming around him as he futilely tries to get up, Mechagodzilla blasts him again and again before finally setting back down behind him. The G-Crusher is then prepared and Miki uses the special viewing system on her helmet to zoom in on Godzilla, who has gotten up but is finding it very hard to keep his balance, and locate his secondary brain. While she does find it, Miki initially takes the special goggles off, now having mixed feelings about killing Godzilla. However, when Commander Aso angrily tells her over the intercom to finish it, Miki reluctantly does so and locks onto Godzilla's secondary brain.

Mechagodzilla holds up its arms and fires its shock anchor cables, hitting the still-dazed Godzilla in the left hip. He screeches in pain and helplessly tries to pull the cables out while Mechagodzilla hovers up into the air. They then commence the energy discharge, zapping Godzilla's secondary brain repeatedly and causing him to scream in absolute agony. With Godzilla now completely at their mercy, Miki reluctantly delivers the final blow, activating a discharge that causes the brain to burst. With that, Godzilla's left hip explodes outward from the inside and he loses his balance and falls face forward, roaring in pain as he realizes he can't stand up. Not at all happy with what just happened, Miki takes over the goggles and tries to come to terms with what she's done, while everyone at the command center, and Aoki especially, are extremely happy about Godzilla's defeat. After a happy outburst where he proclaims that they really are the G-Force, Aoki leaves the Garuda, flying away from it and Mechagodzilla via his personal flight transportation and heads over to where the technicians are still cutting through the container holding Gojo and Baby. The Mechagodzilla crew decides it's time to finish to finish Godzilla off for good and they hit him with another series of powerful discharges, causing him more agony before they unleash the full force of the Plasma Grenade, the Mega Buster, and the Garuda lasers. Sensing that something bad is happening, Baby begins pounding on the inside of the container's doors, ignoring Gojo's attempts to make him stop, while Mechagodzilla manages to finish Godzilla off. Baby smashes open the container's door and lets out a loud, screeching cry that actually has a little bit of Godzilla's vocals in it. This awakens the mortally wounded Rodan, who is just barely able to take to the air and fly towards the battle site. Upon catching sight of him, Sasaki has Mechagodzilla blast him with the Mega Buster, causing Rodan to lose what strength he had left and fall on the back of the now dead Godzilla. As the Mechagodzilla crew watches, Rodan begins discharging some type of energy into the air in the form of some golden dust particles while his own body begins flashing. While everyone wonders what's going on, Miki puts the goggles back on and sees that Godzilla's secondary brain is repairing itself, much to her delight and everyone else's horror. Rodan continues giving Godzilla his energy, causing his body to slowly wither away and disappear as the air is filled with radioactive dust particles. Godzilla's dorsal plates begin flashing red as he comes back to life, sending an energy discharge back through the cables that painfully shorts out Miki's helmet. With a powerful roar, Godzilla gets back up as his body surges with power, a red flash of light that looks like a halo appearing behind in the process.

With everyone stunned as to what they just saw, the heat from the radioactive dust and power that's filled the air begins melting Mechagodzilla's armor. Desperately, they try to use the Plasma Grenade but Godzilla then shows off his new red-colored, super atomic blast, causing a huge explosion on the ground leading up to and surrounding Mechagodzilla, nearly crippling the robot. When Godzilla fires a second time, Mechagodzilla again tries to match it with the Mega Buster but when the energy beams meet and explode in mid-air this time, the robot is unable to withstand the recoil and stumbles backwards. Godzilla fires again, annihilating everything around Mechagodzilla and destroying its weapon systems as it stumbles backwards. Godzilla stomps toward the defenseless robot and blasts it again, forcing it down to the ground at the base of a building. Godzilla stomps to Mechagodzilla as the crew desperately tries to get it back up on its feet but it's now completely hopeless. Godzilla unleashes another string of super atomic blasts, completely engulfing Mechagodzilla in flames and destroying it utterly. Everyone else, especially those at the command center, are speechless to say the least, while the crew's emergency escape system activates. Godzilla then roars triumphantly before turning and walking away, although he hasn't killed the crew, whose cockpit was deployed away from Mechagodzilla before it could go up in flames as well. Meanwhile, Gojo realizes that she can't look after Baby anymore and tells him that he must be with his own kind (i.e. Godzilla). She tearfully apologizes to him for breaking her promise to look after him until the end and, after hugging his head, she and Aoki run for the chopper. But then, in a very sad moment, Baby runs up behind her and grabs the bottom edge of her skirt with his mouth, begging her not to leave. She tells him that he has to go, which he responds to by looking up at her and actually shedding a tear as he cries. Gojo hugs him one last time, thanking him for their times together, and says goodbye before getting into the chopper with Aoki, which lifts off and leaves Baby behind. With the humans gone, Godzilla begins approaching the site, walking up to Baby and stopping right in front of him. Understandably, Baby is terrified of the enormous monster and runs for cover inside the container, his eyes glowing red in fear while Godzilla roars in frustration. Gojo then contacts Miki and tells her to use her psychic powers to give Baby the music, which will let him know that he must go with Godzilla. Miki then climbs up to the top of the escape module, takes one glove off and lets her hair down, and then begins concentrating. It takes a few seconds but Baby begins to hear the music and, now no longer afraid, walks out of the container and goes up to Godzilla, who is still standing there, and roars up at him, acknowledging him as his new surrogate parent. Godzilla returns his roar and the two of them head off into the ocean. While Sasaki and his lieutenants ponder about this victory going to life over artificial life, and Miki silently says goodbye to both Baby and Godzilla, Aoki and Gojo talk about whether there truly will be another age of the dinosaurs after mankind's time has passed. Gojo says that she thinks it will come, that they're just waiting right now. The film ends with shots of Godzilla and Baby as the swim off into the sunrise while the credits roll.

Everything else in this movie is so well done that I think it would have still worked if the music score had just been standard but, since it's Akira Ifukube, this score is anything but standard. It's a magnificent, sweeping score that features awesome new versions of some of his classic themes, as well as some memorable and well-done music all its own. Along with the expected Godzilla theme (which, up until the moment near the end where he completely obliterates Mechagodzilla, is made up of re-orchestrations of a couple of versions from Mothra vs. Godzilla rather than the more familiar one with the march), Rodan's theme, which was first heard in Ghidorah, the Three-Headed Monster, is brought back here in a grander, more powerful-sounding version that really helps in this movie's redemption of him from a goofy side-character to a majestic, prehistoric creature. We also hear a very soft, solemn version when Rodan sacrifices his life to revive Godzilla near the end of the movie. Similarly, Mechagodzilla is given a new theme that perfectly captures the robot's overwhelming power: it's a loud, bombastic theme, with a very noticeable driving beat underneath what is an already very strong, main section. This theme is often sped up or slowed down given the situation. The Garuda has a catchy, military-like march when it goes into action a couple of times during the climax, and that's, of course, to say nothing of the actual military march you hear when Godzilla gets attacked by them after defeating Mechagodzilla for the first time. You'd expect Baby to have a really cute, maybe even goofy theme, like the one Minya had in Son of Godzilla, but, instead, Ifukube gives him a rather soft, somber theme that touches on the sadness of his being born without his real parents in a modern world that will only see him as an asset or a scientific specimen rather than a living creature with a soul. A subtler version of this theme is played during the lighter moments involving Baby but you can also hear it during the conversation between Aoki, Gojo, and Miki after it's been decided to use him as bait for Godzilla. Speaking of which, Baby's theme is played when he becomes scared while Godzilla is angrily damaging the science institute building when he can't find him and, more tellingly, continues to play when Godzilla reluctantly leaves and takes his anger out on what's left of Kyoto, signifying how he feels he's been denied the right to connect with another of his own species. And finally, there's the song from the plants and, while I don't care for the concept behind it, the tune itself is interesting, with an eerie, mysterious sound to it that does come across as rather ancient. It fits well with the scene at the end where Godzilla and Baby finally become father and son and swim off into the sunrise together, casting a more hopeful light on what had been, up to that point, a tale of two prehistoric creatures who were alone in the modern world. The other music in the film is some good stuff as well, like a very soft reprise of King Ghidorah's theme at the very beginning when you see the remains of Mecha-King Ghidorah, some nice, fun music when Aoki is getting kicked around during his training, some eerie music when the egg is first discovered on Adona Island and in the moments leading up to when they see Rodan for the first time, and exciting, fast-paced stuff heard during some of the action scenes, including a brief reprise of the metallic theme from Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah when Mechagodzilla has Godzilla on the ropes during their first battle. The movie is as much a feast for the ears as it is for the eyes.

Like the previous film, this one's Japanese title, which is simply Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla, posed a problem for TriStar when they brought it to the U.S. in 1999 since they didn't want people to confuse it with the original 1974 film. The "II" they tacked onto the title is simply for differentiation and has no significance towards the overall story, especially since this is not at all a sequel to that original film and is, in fact, the third movie to feature Mechagodzilla. (The Godzilla Compendium gave a more fitting, alternate title of Godzilla vs. Super Mechagodzilla but I've never seen that one used in an official release.) The movie was later released on DVD in 2005 like the rest of TriStar's Godzilla titles but, unlike those other films, this one came with the original Japanese audio track, albeit with the subtitles merely being captions of the English dub dialogue and the opening and ending credits still having been removed. Regardless, I think it's a good thing they gave that option for this film because the English dub for this one was really cringe-inducing at times. It fixed the problems with the English dialogue in the original version, including giving better voices to the American actors, but that's about the only improvement it did make. While the voices given to Aoki, Gojo, Miki, Prof. Omae, and Sasaki aren't bad, some of their lines are so corny that you'd expect to have heard them in the dubs for some of the older films. The one that got me the most was when Segawa is informed of Godzilla's appearance in Japan and, in a very over-the-top voice, he says, "What?! Godzilla's attacking the city?!" Ugh, so cheesy! Another one is when Aoki is aggravating Gojo after he barges into the lab to take pictures of the egg and when he's sort of flirting with her as she's pushing him out the door. She says, "If you continue, you're going to get a slap in the face." It's a combination of the lines themselves and the way they're said is what makes them so corny and that one was also pretty bad, and the fact that the lip movements barely match at all doesn't help either. And as with a lot of these dubbed versions, the dialogue was often rewritten dramatically enough to change their meaning, which is not what a dub is meant to do. They often did so without paying attention to whether or not what they wrote fit what was going on in the actual film, the most dramatic example of which is at the end of the film. Instead of telling Miki to give Baby the music so that he will understand, in the English dub Gojo tells her to make Godzilla himself understand that he must adopt Baby, even though Baby is the one who responds to Miki's psychic instructions. I could go on further but I think you get the point. Some may find the dubbing fun in a cheesy way, as was the case with the older movies, but for me, when you have a movie like this that is a genuinely well-made and has some emotion to it, bad dubbing can really hurt it and take away its effectiveness. Therefore, I suggest that newcomers just get ahold of the original Japanese version and watch that.

Did I mention that Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II is awesome? That came across, right? Make no mistake, this is as close to being a perfect 90's Godzilla film as you can get. Just about everything in this film is spot on: great characters, a simple, straightforward story, a nicely done emotional core to it that creates sympathy for Godzilla even though he's still a threat to humanity, well-designed monsters, a plethora of impressive special effects, some of the most fun monster battles the series has seen in a long time, with the physical fighting helping to break up the monotony of energy beam exchanges, and another great music score. There are some nitpicks I can make here and there, the biggest one being the supernatural aspect with the song from the plants, as well as Rodan and Baby looking noticeably rubbery in close-ups and some occasional archaic-looking matte shots, but, on the whole, this is a fast-paced, exciting, emotional, and well-done Godzilla movie that is a candidate for the best entry in the 90's and the Heisei series as a whole. Do I even need to say that I recommend this? Well, just in case, I will say that if you're at all a fan of Godzilla, you owe it to yourself to check this flick out.

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